Share This Page

MLB Notebook: Upton, Braves finalize $75 million deal

| Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, 8:26 p.m.

ATLANTA — Jason Heyward was in the audience as B.J. Upton was introduced Thursday as Atlanta's new center fielder.

That made manager Fredi Gonzalez smile as he realized he didn't have to worry so much about finding the third starter in his outfield.

Upton was given a No. 2 Braves jersey after finalizing a $75.25 million, five-year contract — the biggest ever given a free agent by the franchise.

The 28-year-old spent his first eight big seasons with Tampa Bay. He replaces Michael Bourn in center, but is not expected to fill Bourn's role as a leadoff hitter.

Martin Prado is expected to move from left field to replace the retired Chipper Jones at third base.

Upton's home run totals have increased in each of the last three seasons, but he has hit below .250 with more than 150 strikeouts in four straight years.

“I expect a lot out of myself,” he said. “I felt, yeah they were OK years, decent years, but I think I can be a lot better.”

Rangers, Hamilton's agent staying in touch

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels says he's maintained contact with Josh Hamilton's agent, and the slugger's free agency process has gone as expected so far.

Daniels said Thursday that the plan had always been for Hamilton to test the market and then “once he had a sense of that, would circle back with us.”

Nationals trade for Twins OF Span

The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer, giving the reigning NL East champions a leadoff hitter and center fielder.

Span's arrival allows the Nationals to move 20-year-old Bryce Harper to a corner outfield spot — probably left field, with Jayson Werth staying in right.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.